Audiobooks from Audible let you listen to great stories whether you’re in the car, at the beach, or relaxing at home. Whether you’re a frequent Audible user or only starting out you need some great titles. Let’s get your 2023 listening list started with these 15 best audible books for men.
What Makes a Good Audiobook for Men?
The following selection of Audible titles deal with everything from the absurd to the macabre, but all offer a unique point of view on what it means to be a man and the relationships men deal with every day. If you can listen to all these titles, you’ll arguably be a more well-rounded man for it.
Best Non-Fiction Audible Books for Men
Unbroken – Lauren Hillenbrand
Unbroken tells the incredible true story of Olympian turned World War II pilot Louis Zamperini. The story starts with a young troublemaking Zamperini and moves through his Olympic years, but the real story begins during World War II. After his plane is shot down Zamperini spends 47 days adrift on the Pacific Ocean, only to be captured and sent to a Japanese prisoner camp. Through author Lauren Hillenbrand’s words and narration, we learn about true physical and psychological struggle and the type of spirit it takes to get through them. If you aren’t inspired by this tumultuous journey, you might not find another story to get you there.
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
What makes the ultra-successful who they are? In Outliers, New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell takes us deep into the minds, practices, and upbringing of some of the most successful people on the planet including Bill Gates, the Beatles, and Robert Oppenheimer. Gladwell is talented at surveying the entire landscape of his subjects allowing readers to think of success in a whole new light. Gladwell himself narrates the Audible version.
Bonus Follow up – Gladwell fans should pair this book with Gladwell’s David v. Goliath for a look at the ways other success stories have gone up against formidable foes and won.
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Any man can benefit from Dale Carnegie’s seminal work How to Win Friends and Influence People. Though it was written almost 100 years ago the social lessons and sincere reasoning illustrated are still applicable today. Carnegie’s book was birthed from his 14-week course on human relations and public speaking that was taught everywhere from YMCAs to prestigious hotels in London, New York, and Paris. Sections include the six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. There’s a reason this book has sold nearly 30 million copies.
Freakanomics – Stephen J. Dubner / Steven Levitt
Freakanomics covers the quest of University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt to uncover the unseen side of several subjects by applying economic theory. The book touches on several taboo arenas including cheating, drug dealing, the role of legalized abortion in reducing crime, and much more. All subjects are approached with a unique academic eye to give listeners a fresh perspective on why things happen and their true ripple effect. A great book to help expand your thought process and approach problems differently. Freakanomics belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who studies the human condition like marketers and advertisers.
Cosmos – Carl Sagan
Before the Neil Degrasse Tyson revamp, Carl Sagan originally took us through a voyage among the stars and our own existence in the PBS mini-series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Sagan’s Cosmos is a companion piece that takes you on a deep journey not only through the planets and stars but into the human mind and our deepest burning questions. You’ll learn about complex scientific ideas, but you’ll also learn about the deep connection between culture and science. Levar Burton, Seth MacFarlane, Neil Degrasse Tyson, and the late Sagan’s wife Ann Druyan narrate your journey among the Cosmos.
Best Fiction Audible Books for Men
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy’s War and Peace is praised as one of the best books of all times thanks to its succinct prose, deep philosophical musings, and expert blend of culture, history, and politics. The novel centers around Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia. It primarily follows three characters but dips into the minds of everyone from farmers to royalty and their response to war at their doorstep. One of the greatest ever dives into the human spirit, War and Peace set the standard for character study and has arguably never been bested.
War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
Put yourself into the living rooms of countless families in 1938 by listening to H.G. Well’s groundbreaking science fiction work, War of the Worlds. One of the first fiction stories of humans meeting extraterrestrial life, War of the Worlds tells the story of a Mars invasion, human struggle, and triumph against their alien aggressor. War of the Worlds was so groundbreaking that scientist and engineer of early rockets Robert H. Goddard cites the work as inspiration for the technology that eventually landed men on the moon.
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Journalist, world traveler, wartime ambulance driver, and sailor are only some of the highlights of Hemingway’s life. Hemingway personified the manly man of the world archetype and channeled those experiences into his writing with the Sun Also Rises. The 1926 novel follows American and British expats from Paris to the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The book touches on adventure, the feelings of the lost generation, morality, love, and what masculinity means. In the Audible version Hemingway’s understated and to-the-point prose is delivered by BAFTA award winner stage actor William Hurt.
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
How much would you go through to protect your children? What about in a post-apocalyptic hellscape? Following a father and son after a world-destroying nuclear conflict, The Road deals with deep human struggles and the conflicts that arise when every decision could be life or death. Can you trust your fellow man or is everyone your enemy? What is true perseverance? The Road puts relationships and hope into perspective in bleak and beautiful language with narration by veteran actor Tom Stechshulte.
Dune – Frank Herbert
Thinking outside of the box and using your imagination is a skill that no man should go without. Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking sci-fi masterpiece Dune is not only entertaining but sets a spark to imagine things differently and see the convoluted layers of life. In the distant future, the Atreides family is awarded the desert planet Arrakis, home to ‘spice,’ an herb with mystical properties that allows for space navigation. From the young Paul Atreides’ perspective you’ll learn about the interactions between human nature, greed, politics, ecology, and more as the family fights for survival against both the planet itself and other factions of the Dune world. The Audible version is narrated by the adapted movie’s full cast to plunge you directly onto Arrakis’s harsh landscape.
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
In the foreword of the book, Walker Percy describes the main character Ignatius J. Reilly as a “slob extraordinary, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one”. A Confederacy of Dunces follows Reilly through New Orleans as he’s forced to take a job for the first time in years thanks to his mother’s drunken car accident. What follows is a hilarious plunge into one of the most unique voices ever set to page. Reilly is pompous, rude, and believes his enlightened mind is trapped by modern society’s ‘perversions’ or as a cruel joke from above. Narrated by Earphone award winner Barrett Whitener, the audiobook puts you directly into Reilly’s head. Ignatius J Reilly is a legendary character that all men should get to know.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson didn’t just write his stores – he lived them. Thompson’s unique blend of throwing himself into his topics like the Hell’s Angels became known as gonzo journalism, and there’s no better work of gonzo journalism than Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In the story journalist Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Oscar Acosta) are tasked with covering the Mint 400 motorcycle race but instead find themselves in a whirlwind journey across Sin City fueled by mountains of illicit drugs. The result is funny, fascinating, and horrifying all at the same time. Master audiobook narrator Ron McLarty guides you through a bizarre journey that’s worthy of anyone’s time.
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Follow the Nobel prize winning multi-generational story of the Buendia family across one hundred years in the fictional town of Macondo as they deal with isolation, magic, turmoil, and the arrival of western business on their doorstep. Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez sets you both deep into the heart of the jungle and the hearts and minds of his characters with gorgeous prose and a clear voice. This book might not change your life, but it can easily change how you view your own internal conflicts. There’s a reason the story is cited as a supreme achievement in world literature.
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline – George Saunders
No one can create worlds that are both reasonable and ridiculous like Saunders can. In this collection of six short stories and one novella we’ll follow death, destruction, ghosts, love, pickled babies, civil war-based theme parks, and see-through cows. Saunders’ unique voices uses the outlandish and downright bizarre tales to poke fun at America, consumerism, and the lengths people will go for material possessions. Always funny, often poignant, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline can help you look at your real-world habits with a bit more levity. Audible’s version is narrated by Saunders himself and Joshua Ferris.
Get the Most Out of Life with Audible
Listening to these stories can cause fear, joy, and even revulsion but they’re all great titles for learning about yourself and the world around you. Make the most of yourself and your own journey by starting one of these great audiobooks today.
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